Monday, June 1, 2009
Meanwhile I thought I'd participate in the Sew Mama, Sew meme on sewing machines:
What brand and model do you have? Kenmore model 19153
How long have you had it? um, 5-6 years I think? not the original owner.
How much does that machine cost (approximately)? it was $900, retail.
What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)? everything. primarily clothing but I've done it all. did lots of quilts, a few handbags, tons of craft and gifts, a few home dec projects. I've also taught a few kids to sew on this machine and they've used it to make gifts for others.
How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get? daily. Sometimes hours a day. Sometimes just a minute here and there. LOTS of wear and tear. LOTS.
Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name? I love it mostly because she has been so very reliable to me, although terribly abused and neglected. I think she's getting old and to be honest, my machine before her was an ancient singer so this was like High Tech Luxury by comparison. She deserves a name but I hadn't considered it. Thanks for that! I think I'll call her Audra.
What features does your machine have that work well for you? I like the quick threading, easy drop-in bobbin and easy swap-out feet.
Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine? The embroidery letters are a nice touch in theory but too small and ugly to really be legible or useful.
Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it!
A friend of mine who was a professional seamstress had TONS of machines and was purging. and her greedy sister-in-law who she detested wanted this machine, in particular. So, to spite her, she decided to find it a quick home with someone who she knew would appreciate it and she chose me! Even if it was given to me with family drama attached, I have really REALLY appreciated this machine for years and years!
Would you recommend the machine to others? Why? Well they don't make it anymore and for the cost of buying it used you could probably buy a newer, more technological machine retail. I would recommend Kenmore/Janome in general because this machine has been a workhorse!!
What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine? Ease of use, how much use they can handle, availability of service and parts locally for sure!! Plus if you have lots of feet for an old machine, it might be beneficial to buy a machine that can use those feet.
Do you have a dream machine? Actually it would make me crazy to shop around for a dream machine knowing I'll NEVER be able to afford it. But I have picked out this economical replacement for when Audra hits the hey: Brother SE350 Computerized Embroidery-and-Sewing Machine
By the way, all sewing machine, fabric and notion donations WELCOME :) ha.
Monday, April 20, 2009
I asked Addy to name this skirt and she named it Bob. I think we need to work on her name choices. I veto'd and now presenting the Princess Charming Skirt....
It got it's name from the charm pack - a group of 5" x 5" squares of fabrics in a variety of coordinating prints. I absolutely LOVE working with charm packs becuase what better way is there to get a feel for different fabric prints and styles than working with a dozen or more different varieties in a single project? Also? I love that I don't have to cut. And I don't have to coordinate fabrics myself.
So the Princess Charming skirt it is!!!
These skirts are different from a lot of my stuff because they are not sized to fit other than the waistband. They are sized to grow with your child over a few years. As you can see, this dress on Addy is pretty long. She should get another 1-2 years out of it, for sure.
Here are just a few of the fabric groupings that I would love to see made into this skirt:
And my absolute favorite not-yet-available but coming-soon group:
These skirts are now available for custom order in the shop.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Well...not quite pants. Capris. They could be made into pants or shorter capris but, for Addy, I like this length and so does she. I just love how she twirls and spins and dances in these pants. She calls them skirts because of the ruffles around the bottom and how they flow and twirl just like a skirt.
This week I'll be posting this outfit as a custom in the shop. I haven't offered a tiered twirl knot dress before but I love them so much and so will your little girl! They are so full, so twirly and so much fun. I'll be offering them alone and as an outfit with the ruffle pants.
I also have a new surprise listing for this week. Keep an eye out on the blog and the shop for more details. It's a super fun new item that you will just adore!
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Toward the end of this week I hope to share with you a few pictures from some satisfied customers! I've wrapped up my sewing for the Easter holiday and everyone who is waiting on an order should have their packages in the mail tomorrow. I'll be listing a few things in the shop in the next few days, as well.
Monday, March 30, 2009
I've listed items in the shop! In addition to the old ones I also added my favorite, the Frills stripwork top. Can I just say that I totally adore making these stripwork tops and anything with an applique? I am such a geek. I just like the creative stuff.
I worked with a customer to try out a new pattern recently with mixed results. I worked on a skirt and matching dresses and the skirt pattern is a keeper, for sure. I love it and will work one up for the store later this week. The dresses, though, will never see the light of day on my shop. It was fun and a privilege to have the opportunity to work on something new with some beautiful fabrics. I hope the new owners can get some use out of the end results!
After my last few weeks, I've reevaluated how I want to handle custom orders in the shop. I admit I hadn't given it much thought prior to the launch. I figured I would never have more orders than I could handle at any given time.
In other crafty news, I'm working on these adorable bunnies for my babies for Easter. Aren't they just so sweet? My little ones are going to FREAK!!! And they use up all my little scraps - bonus! I'm still working up a few ideas for my big kids. Figuring out bunny-themed handmade gifts for 11 and 14 year old boys is NOT easy! But I actually have about 4 ideas to work with. Stay tuned for photographic evidence!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Until then, here's a new fun dress. It's a knot twirl dress. Lately its been cold enough for layers again so I've been taking advantage while I can.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Sunday, March 15, 2009
To celebrate I whipped of a few new outfits this weekend. I made the absolutely most darling stripwork shirt out of some of my favorite fabrics in stock. I adore it! I also made a matching reversible wrap skirt that came out wonderfully and a super light weight knit pixie dress with contrasting inner hood and pocket. I'm thrilled with how everything turned out this weekend which is a minor miracle. Usually there is at least one thing that leaves me stumped.
I'm really getting into stripwork and piecing. It's fun and challenging. The project in store for this week is a stripwork knot dress, some bloomers and I think we'll finally make some korkers for fun (not for the shop).
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Yesterday I worked on four pieces:
1) a simple reversible pinafore. These are so classic, fun and sweet. I love being able to combine two really awesome fabrics. The Pinny I finished yesterday will go up in the store as soon as it's photographed. It's a really great brown with aqua flora on one side and lemon with aqua/blues on the other. I adore this fabric and can't wait to work with it for a few other ideas I have in mind.
2) an awesome shirred-top halter dress. It's bright yellow Alexander Henry lemon fabric for the skirt and yellow and white polka dot shirring for the bodice with matching yellow polka dot halter ties. It looks absolutely adorable on! I'm so happy with it.
3) a twirl apron skirt. This was a pet project. I really really wanted to make up an apron skirt in fun, whimsical colors with a pocket. My daughter is head-over-heels in love with it and wants to wear it all the time. It was more time consuming than my other projects but totally worth every second.
4) a traditional pillowcase dress. I found some adorable old fashioned fabric in light colors that aren't quite what I'd call "pastel" which conjures images that give me nausea :) It's more in neutral creams and browns that I love and are still appropriate for spring and summer. The fabric has old fashioned images of children in trees and playing and it ties at the shoulders with cream colored colorsafe ribbon. I know there are a lot of people who really adore pillowcase dresses so I'll be offering them in the store.
5) I'm also working on sewing up a linen button-front dress and matching linen pinafore that ties on the sides. The pinafore will also go with the next dress I work on which will be similar in style to the linen button-front but will be made from a bright cotton print, instead. It's fun working with some different fabrics and styles. This outfit is very European. And it's white. And before you object, keep in mind that white is not scary. White can be bleached! Ivory is scary, pastels are REALLY scary! :) But white is your friend!!
Pictures forthcoming for all of the above plus several skirts and dresses I worked up last week. Stay tuned!